Ethan Winters may have invaded the franchise created by Shinji Mikami without invitation in 2017, accompanied by one of the most drastic changes in the history of Resident Evil. Still, today he is a changed man, a protagonist in his own right, the victim of a spectacular lack of luck. One of the things that distinguished him was that he was a common type, he was not a special agent of STARS, and therefore, he carried the natural human fragility that we all share and recognize.
Four years after the events in Dulvey, Ethan and his wife Mia live in apparent tranquility with their newborn daughter Rosemary in a huge house in the suburbs. Everything goes smoothly until their peace is interrupted by a military group led by Chris Redfield, interested in Mia and mainly in the couple’s daughter, Rose, who the group kidnaps without contemplation. Finding the little one and unraveling the actions of the first protagonist of the series leads Ethan, the man of the healing factor, to face a new nightmare of supernatural contours.
A few years ago, Capcom announced its intention to separate Resident Evil between a more action-oriented style and another notoriously Survival Horror. The latter was reserved for the mainline of the series, which has moved to the first person. VIllage, the smart way to use the number 8, because this already looks like iPhones, is a mixture of the two, a game peppered by a more transcendent element than normal, personified by the 4 Lords that the trailers have been highlighting, commanded by the mysterious figure of Mother Miranda.
Discussing the narrative is sensitive, especially after the leaks that affected Capcom last year. Just saying that things are rarely as they seem, Resident Evil Village hides several surprises about the characters’ motivations and the connection to what was introduced in Resident Evil 7, making it clear that the team of writers has a bigger plan the Winters family arc. Even if certain developments require a considerable “leap of faith.”
I never hid that Resident Evil 4 is my favorite of the series. The inspiration for Village in the 2005 game was a confession from the Capcom development team, the collage is even blatant initially, and no copy overlaps the original. Still, the truth is that the variety of scene after scene, area after area, danger after danger, make this sensation fade, and Village develops its own identity.
Terror has different dimensions
The game is very competent to avoid stagnation, we started in Vila because the producers thought it was a good idea to test our heartbeats for minutes before the searches started, but we quickly moved to Dimitrescu Castle, back to the village, then to a covered forest fog, a swamp, an industrial zone, and so on, each area with a different and more important atmosphere, with a purpose that justifies its existence and our visit.
Visually it is extremely well achieved and takes advantage of the cleanliness of the interface, from the clutter of junk scattered throughout the village houses, the imposing halls of the castle, or the lace that adorns a shelf dedicated to porcelain dolls. I wouldn’t say I like a cold scenario as much as a factory, although it is not something new in the series. Still, I enjoyed the alternation of atmospheres, where some memorable scenes occur.
Terror has different dimensions, the main one being that it lives in the subconscious. The echo of Dimitrescu Castle is chilling; the sound of footsteps or a door in the distance is more frightening than any tentacular monster. The way the light behaves when we enter a dark room and Ethan’s eyes take time to adjust, small details that feed nervousness and make us hesitate, always with the impression that we will have to activate the mode at any time survival.
Although the abuses jump scares in certain segments, which is a low trick for games of the genre to force tension, Village does not hesitate to put sentient beings to pursue us or limit navigation. RE 7 did this very well with the members of the Baker family, here it is less deliberate, but it happened to me to open a door quietly and to have a giant figure with a genuine smile on the other side. Most frightening is when we realize that certain creatures, however innocent their moans may be, are not to kill, nor would we know where to start, all we can do is run away.
Back are the areas of ‘Save,’ responsible for the best feelings of relaxation in the memory of several generations of players. If you know the series, you know that there is nothing better than opening a door and being greeted by quiet music, a typewriter, and the promise of materials to help us return to hell. They are not as frequent or as standardized as usual, possibly because there is a system of autosave to accompany them and have a direct connection with The Duke, the obese salesman. He can sneak through different areas and surprise us when we least expect it.
He does not receive Ethan with a memorable “Welcome Stranger.” Still, he demonstrates a consistent concern for his well-being and the progress of the journey in search of Rose while guaranteeing the renewal of the stock of armaments, resources, and upgrades, with a touch for cooking if we bring you the right materials. Not many animals are encountered throughout the adventure, but chasing chickens or fish is particularly important for improving Ethan’s innate abilities.
The balance between the protagonist’s power and the game world is another pillar of Survival Horror, the reason for the traditional use of scarcity. In addition to an immense variety of weapons and firearms, Resident Evil Village chose to include the ability to manufacture ammunition or purchase it directly from Duke. I never felt the anguish of having only half a clip to deal with a room full of creatures. Still, playing in normal difficulty mode, I also never felt completely safe because the dangers are almost always greater than gunpowder.
There is a greater variety of enemies than the promotional materials guessed, among “punching bags” experiments designed to force us to spend ammunition on bosses that, as always, require a certain angle to win. It is not just the Lords. They will face werewolves, giants, gargoyles, and other things that would be difficult to describe. More than its design, and in this chapter, there is no lack of deserving cases; it is the presentation that most distinguishes them. The pieces of text that we find give us contextualization about how “that” happened and what we are still destined to find.
The development of the adventure is testimony to the experience of the team led by Morimasa Sato, who was one of those responsible for writing RE 7, including the creation of Ethan. There are not many puzzles, but the points where it is necessary to collect keys, medallions, and other aristocratic contours are frequent to open a door or activate a certain mechanism. We are permanent “half stuck.” Of course, there are times when running and choosing random paths results, and we are progressing. Still, we always end up being obliged to turn on the “gamer” system, scan the inventory and go back to everything we did until then with the button mash on the different possibilities.
In most cases, we are beaten by thousands of hours of playtesting. It takes exactly the time Capcom predicted to find the right way or the solution to a problem. Still, there are also many rewarding occasions when we leave the scene with a smile, “they are many years of RE,” nothing particularly revolutionary, just the proper use of the elements of a good game in the series, adapted to the model that Capcom found with Resident Evil 7. I was afraid, but I loved playing it, and I’m sure I will like it repeating the trip, something I traditionally do to clear up the trauma, is quite different from having the security of knowing what to expect, along with greater firepower that unbalances the balance in my favor.
Without forgetting the past and again with Ethan Winters as the protagonist, Resident Evil Village takes different elements celebrated by the franchise. It adapts them to the modern format in the first person, in an adventure that explores different atmospheres and dimensions of interactive terror, alternating between moments of action and total helplessness. It is not revolutionary, but it is the complete ER ever, without fear of navigating supernatural paths and cornering authentic narrative alleys.
Resident Evil Village
Fantastic return of the Capcom series, with several ingredients mixed in a Resident Evil open to different sensitivities within the universe of interactive terror.
- INCREDIBLE 0%